Kilian Critique

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When I first started reading Crawford Kilian's book, "Writing for the Web 3.0", I had a feeling of satisfaction. The understanding came easy and the chapters were broken up nicely or at least so readers feel like the they aren't too long. Knowing ahead of time how much you have to read is a big deal to college students! It makes a world of difference to me to be able to read his book without having to question what he really meant. Now, granted the content is all factual stuff, that is pretty straight forward. But I truly think Kilian put it in a way that puts those dull, boring, "we know this already", tips into bearable terms. So thanks Kilian for making this Writing for the Internet required phase in my life a little easier. 

One reason why I liked his style of teaching/writing was the way he used examples in every day life. I think I can remember one about how his family members would exaggerate everything and he used this point to demonstrate the importance of keeping to the story and saying what is real rather than trying to make it better by over exageration.

Somehow I could kind of relate to this story so that made me able to remember what he was trying to get across in the message. A lot of this information is basic but I think the importance of starting from the beginning is crucial. Especially for beginners of internet writing like myself who are unfamiliar with the terminology and who have been typing papers on Microsoft Word all of their life. But I think this is good for even the experts to at least scan as a refresher for some tips when they need it.

Well no offense to the author (Kilian), but I don't think other writers -and by other writers I mean more experienced, out of college, have a job writers- would read this book front to back, cover to cover. I think of it almost as more of a reference book than a "How can I be a successful writer of the Web?"

With that being said, as far as another book in the future, I am all for the idea. I actually took the last book's information and ideas and applied them to my work.I kind of had to for assignments for my Writing for the Internet class, but now I can use the concepts that I picked up whenever or where-ever I write. Things like bulleted lists, not cluttering my page, using simpler words, and spreading out information to make the reading easier on the viewer, are all things that I sort of already knew but just didn't exactly apply all the time. 

But back to the new book It's time for some constructive criticism. I am not very good at picking out the negatives because I automatically focus on the good things first when I read, write, and critique. So I have to say that a lot of the information was dry. Although Kilian used examples like I mentioned before to make things interesting, sometimes it doesn't cut it. I know this is boring stuff but I think maybe by showing pictures with arrows pointing out things that are discussed in the work would be a good visual for readers. To be able to look at an example website and actually see what it is he is talking about may be helpful for visual readers. Also, having the practice modules mixed in with the chapters they apply to and then having the answers in the back to refer to, may be more beneficial. Often, readers will skip the exercises if they are too hard to find; especially on a disk. Not too many students are thrilled about the idea of having to download new software onto their computers to do a few assignments when they are already done for you in the back.

  Well that's about the extent of my input. If anyone would like to see more information on how I felt while I was reading the Kilian chapters, feel free to browse my blogs. (Got this idea from Chelsea's blog:)! )

Kilian Chapter 5

Kilian Chapter 4

A lot of information

A Long Thought Process...

Kilian Chapter 1

Audience= you, you, you, you

(This last blog would not let me copy the actual URL so I pasted it into the blog below)

Write, Create, Action (Kilian Ch 7&8)

Well, I've finished the Kilian readings and I have to say that they weren't bad. The reading,or should I say readability, was fairly easy. It helped that Kilian used several examples in explaining his theories and tips on writing for the web, as opposed to just giving the straight facts.

As a baby to the blogging world, these readings helped to open my eyes a little more. I mean, nothing beats experience and actually putting the things he writes about into action. But because he takes on a more personal and almost beginners approach to his chapters, I feel as though I can easily apply what he talks about into my own writing experiences. For example, I never knew there were different kinds of blogs. I know that you can basically write about anything you want to in your own personal blog, but I guess the thought never crossed me to use a blog for work purposes or as political or news references. This is good to know because as I branch out of my classroom blog, I may want to start a new blog type for a job or for business reasons.

One theme I noticed that is repeated in every chapter of Kilian, is to write for your readers. By this I mean focus on the style of your blogs, essays, articles, etc. Making sure to avoid long paragraphs and pages of information, attracting viewers to your site so they can experience that "jolt" and providing links for readers to interact within your webpage are all common themes expressed in most of the chapters in this book. These themes helped me to try my hand at my first resume. I used bulleted lists, provided contact information and was clear, short and promt in my descriptions. So, thanks Kilian for pounding this information in. (seriously)

The last chapter focused again on appealing to your audience through propaganda.This is very similar information that I am studying in my communications class. Manipulating, persuasion and appeal are the key concepts of being a communication professional. Although I am looking to be a journalist "professional", these concepts can be applied in pretty much anything as Kilian describes throughout the book.

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